President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday he was confident Taiwan would soon recover from the effects of the global financial crisis, not because of his leadership, but rather because of the Taiwanese.
“The people’s resilience and persistence can help us to bridge the difficulties,” Ma said during an address at a ceremony at Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School to mark the school’s 110th anniversary.
Ma said his administration would create about 300,000 jobs in the following four years, with the first 100,000 to be created within the next six months to reinvigorate the slumping economy, which has been affected by the global financial meltdown.
“We don’t expect Taiwan to emerge unscathed from this current global financial crisis, but we hope that Taiwan would at least tide over the difficulties without sustaining major harm, like it did the last Asian economic crisis [of 1997 and 1998],” Ma said.
He said that after fully guaranteeing deposits at all banks to stabilize the domestic financial market, the administration had proposed a four-year, NT$500 billion (US$15.2 billion) economic stimulus plan to pull Taiwan out of its economic rut.
The plan features extra funding for new and old infrastructure development projects and the distribution of shopping vouchers worth a total of about NT$80 billion aimed at encouraging consumption and reviving the suffering retail sector.
In related news, Ma said at a discussion with members of the business and industrial community in Pingtung County earlier in the day that his campaign “check” of allowing the Kaohsiung mass-rapid transportation system to expand southward to Pingtung County was not “a bounced check.”
“The development plan will be implemented once a more detailed assessment is completed,” Ma said.